When I was living in California, there was this little Hawaiian restaurant within walking distance from me — Hawaiian Drive Inn in Alameda, and i fell in love with it. My sister and brother in law introduced it to me as one of their “go to” spots — other than Chipotle. When I tasted it I couldn’t understand why Chipotle was even another option! Everything about this place was great (except for the soups, but come on, why order soup when there’s other delicious options). The first thing I decided to try there was the loco moco, which, if you aren’t familiar with Hawaiian meals, is two hamburger beef patties atop rice, and atop that two eggs any style and drenched in gravy. It’s such a delicious comfort food, and that’s what I loved about that restaurant. It was a small family run business, and the food tasted like good comfort home cooking. I tried most of the things off their menu, but it was the teriyaki steak and kalbi ribs that really got me hooked. Wait, it was also the BBQ chicken musubi and macaroni salad. Wait, I can’t forget the malasadas. Malasadas are Portuguese yeast donuts that are really popular in Hawaii. They are light and fluffy and fried and covered in sugar — um, yes please.
So anyways, where am I going with this? It’s been three months since I’ve eaten delicious Hawaiian food, and I’ve been craving it since I left. I figured that since the food there tasted so home made and comforting, than I could definitely make it at home and have it be just as good. So I decided to make a macaroni salad, malasadas, and the delicious teriyaki steak. It was definitely what I needed, but I’ll be honest, not as good as the Hawaiian Drive Inn. The steaks did turn out really full of flavor, and I’m sure they would have been bursting with flavor if I marinated them longer than two hours — overnight perhaps. I searched for different teriyaki sauce recipes, and I found a simple one that looked reliable at . I will definitely be going back to that recipe, because the flavor was perfect. Like I said, if I marinated the meat overnight, it would have been insanely good. I also wanted to use thin cut steak, but couldn’t find any, but the top round i used was just fine.
As for the macaroni salad, the restaurant’s had little bits of chicken in it, but I didn’t have any chicken, so it was just plain ol’ mac. I don’t think I seasoned it enough, as it tasted kind of bland, but nothing a little salt and pepper couldn’t fix up. The recipe I used was really simple, calling only for elbow macaroni, hellman’s mayonnaise, grated carrots, milk and salt & pepper. Simple.
And lastly, the malasadas. Oh my poor malasadas. They were nothing like the ones at the restaurant, but only because I don’t think I made them right. The dough never got to rise fully like it said it would in the recipe,but I went ahead and fried them anyways. They weren’t airy, and not as soft as they should have been, and pretty dark on the outside. Not terrible, but not amazing either.
Overall, the meal was tasty and filling, and I would make again, with some tweaks here and there. I know I’m going to work on my malasadas in the near future.